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Build a gaming PC for less than £300

A little time and effort can save you hundreds of pounds compared to high street prices.

These days you can build a very decent gaming PC for far less money than it would cost you to buy one.

Some PC components have gone up in price this year, but you can still make significant savings if you choose to build your own PC rather than buying a pre-built one.

In fact, for less than £300 you can build a great gaming PC that will be able to play all of the latest games on at least medium settings.

I’ll start off by saying that I’m only talking about the base station, not the monitor, keyboard or mouse.  I’m going to assume that you already have these.

That being said, if you don’t have them, you can pick up a decent full HD monitor for less than £150, and a basic £10 keyboard and mouse will be sufficient to get you started.

 

Processor and Motherboard.

Processing power isn’t as important as you’d think for a gaming PC.  What’s more important is the graphics card and the amount of memory that you have, but we’ll get to that later.

An AMD processor will prove a lot cheaper than an Intel one, so something like the AMD Athlon II 250 should be fine.  This particular processor features two cores, each clocked at 3GHz.  A retail version will come with a suitable heatsink and fan, and you should even be able to overclock this processor by 400MHz or so without any issues.

This processor uses an AM3 socket type, so you’d need an AM3 motherboard.  You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get basic features like a network port, built in sound card or USB 2 ports, so a cheap Asus unit like the M4A78LT-M will be fine.

This motherboard also has a built in graphics card, though we won’t be making use of it.  Importantly, though, it uses DDR3 RAM which gives us some degree of future proofing.

At today’s prices, that brings the cost of the motherboard and processor to:  £85.48

 

Next Page: Memory and Hard Disk

12 thoughts on “Build a gaming PC for less than £300”

  1. Thanks for this article Matt, I’m planning on building the exact of you have built with your examples ( with wifi chip an optical drive of course, and perhaps a second hard drive :) ) Thanks for the pointers!

    1. You should be able to build something better for the same price, as this was written some time ago now and hasn’t been kept up to date.

  2. This may be too much to ask for but could you give me some guidance? I have minimum experience with the building of computers, thanks.

  3. Just a general selection of components that one should go for within that budget at todays prices – pretty much the same article but updated, so whatever better components you can get for the price equivelents I suppose.. Lets say you theoretically you were given £300 to build a PC for gaming purposes, what parts would you buy today?

    I.E. Motherboard, Processor, Memory, Hard disk, Case, PSU, GPU :)
    Again presuming you already have a monitor, keyboard and mouse.

  4. My scenario: I’m currently looking into building a gaming PC that can be upgraded in time, starting primarily with a setup that can run modern games on medium settings (or at least low if medium isn’t possible) with a £300 budget – and as time goes on upgrade it, prioritising the more important parts and in time upgrading it into potentially a machine with say £1,000+ invested into it (hardware only, and this obviously a long term goal – being a student working a part time job I have to make building a gaming PC a gradual process, have a laptop available and XBOX 360 gaming console to hold me down in the meantime)

  5. If you’re willing to assist me in my journey perhaps we can keep in touch via email or a social networking site? I can gladly continue posting comments here. For the most part just about what components I should go for with my budgets at the according time, in terms of installation I’m sure I’ll do just fine, so I will avoid being too much of a pest haha :p
    Thanks in advance!

  6. Montez, with a £300 budget you will be able to build yourself a decent rig. Have you found what hardware you will be using yet?

    1. Hi Duke, in this example we would use the stock AMD cooler that is supplied with the processor. If we had more money available we’d look at an after market cooler, but the premise of this article was to get a great budget system.

    1. It is a bit actually, you’d be able to make much better for the same money these days. Unfortunately I’m too busy at the moment to draft an updated build

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